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with us. more politics ahead with ce cenk uyger. >>> good evening. in a moment we'll go live to japan to cover the historic disaster there. but also on tonight's show, president obama hits back hard at republicans who are trying to blame him for rising gas prices. who's right and who's wrong? we actually have the proof. and we'll expose the republicans' war on education around the country with former pennsylvania governor ed rendell. but we begin with a powerful earthquake that struck northeastern japan. we're just getting the first live pictures of damage in the daylight in japan. you're seeing it right there. request y-- you see people hanging out on the roof there. lower ground is dangerous, higher ground is safer. you see whole sections of town cities, buildings, et cetera, devastated. and the earthquake was an 8.9 magnitude quake and it struck near the coastal city of sendai overnight. it's the largest ever recorded in japan. sky scrapers started shaking and people went running for their lyes. witnesses say the reverberations were so powerful and prolonged they got motion sicknes
a catastrophic nuclear event in japan today. this is a critical time now. at this hour, there are reports that four of the six reactors at the fukushima daiichi plant are in danger of melting down. perhaps most worrisome are the spent fuel rods in number 4. a top u.s. official warned that the rods are now exposed. a claim that japanese officials later denied. >> in addition to the three reactors operating at the time of the incident a fourth reactor is under concern. we believele there's been a hydrogen explosion in this unit due to an uncovering of the fuel in the fuel pool. we believe that secondary containment has been destroyed. there is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high. >> that does not sound good at all. the japanese government has been trying to cool all the reactors, pumping water into the plant and trying to drop water from helicopters. that had to be abandoned because of rough winds and the radiation threat. there are reports that some workers are getting sick already from radiation exposure which is not surprising. experts
ahead. >>> good evening. i'm jenk uygur. three days after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit japan, the devastated country continued to reel today. police officials estimate more than 10,000 people were killed when one village was washed away from the tsunami-ravaged northern coast. the death toll is certain to rise. as day breaks in japan, it's a race against time to find survivors. officials say some 350,000 people are homeless and staying in shelters. as you can see the pictures there, it is absolutely devastation. you can see why there are so many people homeless. their homes are gone. emergency workers are frantically trying to cool down the reactors at the troubled fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant, located about 60 miles south of the earthquake's epicenter. there have already been two explosions at this power plant, generating from reactors one and three, first on saturday and then a second one today. today's blast injured 11 people and government authorities told people within 12 miles to stay indoors. if i was them, i would not stay indoors, i would run for the hills.
politics ahead with cenk uygur. >> the rate to alert a catastrophic nuclear disaster in japan is in high gear. that meltdown could apparently be anywhere between three mile island and chernobyl in its severity. that does not sound good. we'll examine the potential fallout straight ahead. >>> but, of course, devastation is already widespread across japan more than 10,000 are dead or missing. hundreds of thousands are home will you see. with 450,000 in temporary shelters. massive domestic and international rescue and relief efforts are under way. 14 international organization and 102 countries, including afghanistan and cambodia, have offered aid. so far japan has accepted assistance from 15 of those countries, mainly in the form of search-and-rescue teams. usaid has dispafd 148 people and 12 rescue dogs. the u.s. military is integrally the relief efforts, "uss ronald reagan" is refueling, conducting search-and-rescue efforts and assisting with humanitarian air drops. that's the use of the military that we all love, helping others across the world. that's a great thing. relief teams have a
, this comes after another long day as authorities in japan were using unconventional means that i was just telling you about in their desperate race to cool down the rea reactors and it keeps the crisis in fukushima from spiraling out of control. helicopters with water and trucks with watt thor cannons were sent in to spray the reactor but none of that worked until we got the power reconnected. they couldn't even get within 50 yards of the plant with the water cannons. the head sounded the alarm that water at reactor number four had dried up and that's why we were so concerned. also today efforts were zeroed in on reactor number three and it keeps switching around as to which is the worst every day. this video was released by the tokyo electric power company showing a flyover the crippled fukushima plant. now you can see there is some major structural damage, to say the least. so maybe that's part of the reason they were in such bad shape. now authorities are just trying to keep control of the situation while they work to restore the power to the reactors. that's what they've been trying t
. the focus simply on their survival in japan. they're either homeless or forced to evacuate their longstanding neighborhoods, and today there's anxiety about food safety. elevated levels of radiation have been detected. after the government banned sails of milk from the fukushima prefecture because of contamination and sales from leafy vegetables from areas as far away as 160 miles. doctor, as wee hearing about this, and simply the numbers are astounding, more than 400,000 people have been displaced. now they're getting the news that some of the food they've been having access to could be contaminated. what's the reaction, what's the response that these people are supposed to have to this? >> right now we really don't know all the information wire going to need to tell people what they can eat and what they can't. the problem with radiation, particularly as it deals with problems in the seawater is there's two kinds of radiation. one eye odied 31, and one cesium 37. the risk here for fish is that these foods, like fish, could concentrate these toxins just the way mercury con
. i'm thomas roberts. we start in japan where there have been reports of a suspected breach in the core of reactor three. workers were pulled out of the complex as a safety precaution while the possibility of more radiation leaks over that region. japan's prime minister called this situation, quote, very grave and serious during a press conference that was hours after this setback. he reassured the citizens that nuclear techs and the government are taking a cautious approach in each step of this process. >>> the death toll from the dual disasters that rocked the nation continue to rise. more than 10,000 are dead and still 17,000 missing residents. nbc's lee cowan is live in tokyo this morning. lee, what are we hearing right now about the fukushima plant and any kind of extension as a precaution to the japanese exclusion zone for the potential of radiation? >> reporter: well, thomas, there is an extension, although it's still voluntary at this point. the people that were told 19 miles out, 20 miles out that they were told to basically stay indoors over the last couple weeks,
. appreciate your time. >>> in japan, a shortage of bottled water. a live report next. nobody in my family ever had a heart attack. if anything, i thought i'd get hit by a bus, but not a heart. all of a sudden, it's like an earthquake going off in your body. my doctor put me on an aspirin regimen to help protect my life. [ male announcer ] aspirin is not appropriate for everyone. so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. to my friends, i say, you know, check with your doctor, 'cause it can happen to anybody. [ male announcer ] be ready if a heart attack strikes. donate $5 to womenheart at, and we'll send you this bayer aspirin pill tote. s it hit helps the lhe of companipanies like the she smallestt ofof th ththat lets yos your employeloy, pa and custcustomersvate and sharee so you can can unleash tsh the of your mor your peopleople. ou but your wrinkles don't. ♪ introducing neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair. it has the fastest retinol formula available. in fact, it's clinically proven to smooth wrinkles in just one week. so all you h
. appreciate it. >> you bet. >>> in japan, americas are being urged to get supplies of iodine tablets. the very latest on the dangerous nuclear reactors. a full update after this. [ male announcer ] this is charlie whose morning flight to london starts with arthritis pain... and a choice. take tylenol now, and maybe up to 8 in a day. or...choose aleve and 2 pills for a day free of pain. enjoy the flight. you struggle to control your blood sugar. you exercise and eat right, but your blood sugar may still be high, and you need extra help. ask your doctor about onglyza, a once daily medicine used with diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. adding onglyza to your current oral medicine may help reduce after meal blood sugar spikes and may help reduce high morning blood sugar. [ male announcer ] onglyza should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. tell your doctor if you have a history or risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. onglyza has not been studied with insulin. using onglyza with medicines such as sulfonylureas may cause low blood sugar.
that already online. >>> another earthquake has hit japan. this one a magnitude 6.5. it triggered another tsunami alert. the quake shook the area close to the crippled fukushima daiichi plant. officials are now concerned radiation is contaminating sea water about a mile further north of the plant that previously thought. workers continued to monitor radiation levels across the country and so far they haven't detected any significant levels beyond the vicinity of the plant, but some environmental groups want the evacuation zone expanded. >>> new youtube video has surfaced of the tsunami that devastated northeast japan more than two weeks ago. it shows the waves surging onto streets and washing away cars lined up in a parking lot. nbc's charles hadlock is following developments from seoul, south korea. where do we stand on this contaminated sea water. >> reporter: well, more contamination has been find in and ornd the fukushima plant. japanese officials report that plutonium has now been found in five sites in and around the crippled plant. plutonium does not occur naturally, so it is comin
. >> and just a few moments ago, president obama laid out his energy plan. he says events in libya, japan and elsewhere means it is time for the united states to cut way back on foreign imports. >> in an economy that relies so heavily on oil, rising prices at the pump affect everybody. >> and we're in libya right now, also, at the white house today. mike viqueira, and jim maceda in tripoli, libya. and, mike, i'll begin with you here. the president's approval rating is dropping because of what? is it because of the issue in libya? >> well, that and the reason why he's at georgetown today, the high energy prices already exceeding $4 a gallon in some parts of the country. look, a lot of this is a hangover from what we saw last fall. a lot of it is because of the fact that the white house, you have to say is being -- is playing catch-up on a lot of the explanation for why they started in libya, started the military action in libya to begin with. obviously the president said again today at jrnlg togeorgeto he's been saying over the last several days, to the military action, they don't like to
in japan where the recent earthquake and tsunami have limited production. honda has said they don't know which models will be affected. >>> nine patients died after feeding bags were contaminated with bacteria. all the patients became critically ill. ten other patients were sickened after using the sale bags which the maker has now pulled avenue the market. >>> new york senator chuck schumer forgot to hit the mute button while going over budget talking points before a conference call with reporters. he told his democratic colleagues in the room to call the gop's proposed cuts extreme and blame the tea party forestalling negotiations. the senators eventually realize and -- you know it -- awkward pause. >>> and democrat supporters are telling us that president obama is three weeks away from officially announcing his re-election campaign. kicking it off with an online video and e-mails. meanwhile, donors in chicago are reportedly being told that the announcement will coincide with a democratic fund-raiser there coming up april 14th. president obama is getting a steady dose of questions, als
of damage. they say it could take five years for japan to rebuild. but economists are saying that despite initial detrimental affects to the japanese economy, the rebuilding will likely end up as a good thing in the long term. which honestly, i don't believe. japan is a crushing debt burden and this cannot help that. it's interesting. me versus the economists of the world. let's see who's right. all right, now, what's the acceptable amount of military power in libya and will operation odyssey dawn work? we look at examples of u.s. military intervention in the past to the see what worked and what didn't work to help us determine what we can do right in libya. we'll get answers from colonel jack jacobs and juan cole next. so you have five brothers. tough being the only girl. aw, there's the man of the house. who's this ? this is rufus. hey, rufus. he's actually pretty talented. you wanna see him do a trick ? ok. hey rufus. who do we love ? we love our bank. we love our bank. we love our bank. we love our bank. yes, yes. you really love your bank don't you. ally bank customers love our 24/7
, is the disaster in japan. and the crisis level has been raised. now japanese engineers are talking about a chernobyl-style fix that does not sound good. we'll tell you what that is next. homeowners -- rates have been going up, but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at plus, get the best deal or we'll pay you $1,000. call lending tree at... today. ♪ [ male announcer ] escape convention. ♪ escape definition. ♪ escape compromise. ♪ introducing the most fuel-efficient luxury car available. the radically new... 42 mile per gallon ct hybrid from lexus. ♪ welcome to the darker side of green. ♪ >>> in japan, the crisis may be getting worse. today the nuclear industry upgraded the crisis to level five. that's on par with three-mile island. four is local consequences. five is wider consequences. keep it real. who's already at least at a level five. the japanese government catching up a little bit with the facts on the ground and there's questions of how the workers are restoring the cooling systems. yesterday there was hope that the problem was com
shortly. >>> u.s. officials say there's no reason why the nuclear crisis in japan would affect relicensing of reactors in this country. but the situation in japan's getting worse. the government is on maximum alert, but has no new plant to contain the radiation leaking from the damaged reactors. now a positive note here. power has been restored. tens of thousands of people are still stuck in shelters. they get checked for radiation contamination and the discovery of plutonium in the soil now could mean these folks might never be able to go back home. nbc's charles hadlock is in seoul, south korea. charles, where do we stand right now in containing the radiation? >> reporter: well, contessa, they continue to struggle to bring the four overheated reactors under control at fukushima. engineers are learning that the more water they pump into the reactor units to cool them down, the more contaminated water comes out through broken pipes. in fact, today two workers were injured -- or not injured but splashed with radioactive water when one of the pipes burst. they say that even though they were
weapon systems, perhaps a quicker drawdown, why are we still in europe? and other overseas miss. japan we allow them to -- we provide their military shield. it's time for some of these other countries to grow up. >> peter, you have a very positive statement, and i agree, but in that same bill, i think it was and we got about 120 people to vote for it. we're still building bridges in afghanistan, but i agree with you. >> i was with you on that vote. i want to build infrastructure they're in the united states. >> i love this love coming out on this program. >> when we look at defense, it's historically been the republican party blocked anything in that direction. they said i can't believe the democrats would do that, attention, how do you get beyond that? look at what our president is doing. he had a very strong statement about our need to be involve in libya. he expanded the war in afghanistan. oy 'bama is getting close to the possible. i think it's bipartisan. it's a bipartisan mess, and i think that republicans a lot of republicans and democrats outside of washington still expect a lot f
have banned food coming from japan amid fears it's tainted with radiation. taiwan joins singapore, new zealand and the u.s. there's also concern about america's nuclear plants. there are 104 in the u.s. thethose plants. they explain almost 30% of those plants failed to report equipment defects that can pose, quote, substantial safety risks. according to the report, there were 24 such instances in a 10-month period between 2009 and 2010. the inspector general says it prevents regulators to learn about defects that could be cropping up at plants all across the country. so far the lapses haven't led to significant accidents. so far. but this is going to give you chills. it has to do with the bp oil accident in the coast of mexico. what they found is a crucial valve called a blowout preventer didn't work. it was supposed to seal off the pipe when there's pressure. instead they got jammed and left a 1.4 inch space. and all 4.9 million barrels of oil gushed through that space. and that's what caused the worst oil spill in u.s. history. they found it wasn't bp's fault, but a flaw in the desig
on today. we appreciate your insight. >> you're welcome. >>> now to japan, where there are new concerns this morning about a highly toxic chemical being detected in the soil around that damaged nuclear power plant. officials say plutonium has been found in the water that's league from damaged nuclear fuel rods. and engineers are now facing the delicate balancing act of cooling the rods, trying to dpibd a way to keep the contamination from spending. nbc's lee cowan is in tokyo. lee. >> reporter: the big concern right now is trying to figure out how to balance putting water on the reactors to cool it off and what to do with all that water once it leaks out and becomes radioactive. we have been talking the past couple days how some of it has been pooling in the reactors itself or near some tunnels near the buildings. in one days, it was 100,000,000 times the normal level of radioactivi radioactivity. so that presents a whole other front here in this battle, because engineers still have to keep pumping that water into the reactors to keep the fuel rods cool. but as they pump more water in,
-ravaged region of japan. power cables are reconnected to all six reactors at the island nation's crippled nuclear complex. new footage shows usndehe plant. the light a out wl ta te hk ectrici to the reactors to cool the core. this morning a 6.0 aftershock rattled the region that houses the plant, a 5.8 tremor followed just 20 minutes later, the death toll is now up to nearly 10,000 with over 13 >>> missing. nbc's lee cowan joins me live from seoul, south carolina. how long can we expect before the electricity is fully connected and show and demonstrate what they need to, that is cooling the cores there, pumping wanter and cooling the koerlz of the reactors? >> the well, thomas, they have the power hooked up and lights on in the control room. they managed to hook up some monitoring devices to get a better sense of what's going on in each of the reactors. it could be some time before they get the pumps hooked up and start the cooling systems going again. a lot of the pumps were damaged from the sea water or from the resultf th quake and thek? itself so it could take quite a bit of time before th
're goin to oo mend right now we're kind of one to one. japan is two times the amount of debt compared to how much they make every year. is that how far we can go? >> i don't think we're going to get anywhere near that. and one way of thinking about this is, in terms of a company's balance sheet, on one side you have what you owe. the other side are your assets. if you were a company and you had a lot of good projects, okay, investments 20%, 30%, i'll lend you money at close to zero interest rate, you would be foolish not to do it. because it's exactly by investing that you're going to grow and become a big company. noup there's another point that i try to raise, in the article that i wrote, which is there are lots of ways we can get. we spend literally billions and billions on weapons that don't work. >> and their suggestion is that we should cut some of those back? >> and those don't improve the balance sheet. they create a liability. but they don't create an asset. we can have more security with less spending. >> all righty. of course there's the factors of political will behind all
and ireland and japan and poland and yes, from mexico and the middle east. they came here with a belief that they would be judged as equals and their children would have the same opportunity as any other american. that's why my family came here. we're true believers. we believe what makes you american is not being born in nebraska or new jersey. it's the belief in your heart that democracy is the right form of government, freedom is essential and we should all be treated as equals. but from time to time in this country's history, some ugly forces in the nation try to undo the essence of america and forget what made it great. joe mccarthy wanted to separate us. he held hearings that turned into witch hunts, trying to find people he believed to be un-american. during world war ii, fdr made a terrible mistake and interned the japanese one of those interned was mike honda. he says he cannot believe he's lived long enough to see our country turn back to these dark days. we've attacked different ethnicities for their race or creed. just ask native americans or african-americans. but we persev
fears in japan today as a 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook the region and triggered another tsunami alert there. the ground shaking alert extends to the crippled fukushima nuclear plant where experts are now saying they have found traces of plutonium in soil at that site. despite this, some people who live near the plant are now trying to return to their homes. disregarding government warnings about health risks in the evacuation zone. at the same time, the country's nuclear safety agency is rejecting a plea from green peace to expand the zone we were showing you after radiation was detected miles beyond it. meanwhile, in the belly of the fukushima plant, we watched that, radioactive water continues to build up there. the levels now measuring 100,000 times higher than normal, forcing workers now trying to control that situation to flee. nbc's lee cowan has the latest from too about what's being done about that walter. lee? >> reporter: morning, richard. it is all about the water, that water not only that's been flooding some of the buildings of the facility itself but also now we're told
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